You know why I like writing to you, FA? Because to most/many of the other posters, I have to offer some advice or teach them a new tool or technique...and with you I can just write like one poster to another.
You remember that lady you spoke with at the YMCA? The one to whom you never mentioned a thing about what was going on and yet she knew (or figured out) a lot of it on her own? THAT is why I always encourage, help, and support people in taking "the high road" because at the time it feels like "HEY! My STBX is muddying my name and telling lies about me...I have to defend my integrity!" and yet if you do, you're just joining in the drama. On the other hand, if you just keep doing the right thing, keep taking that "high road" and keep learning and growing and doing better...what happens is that people notice and can put two and two together. They can see which one is going around blaming their spouse and being a loud-mouth and doing "less than wise", harmful things...and which one is taking personal responsibility, going to counseling, just being quiet and doing a good job, and putting the kids first. They can see which one has BF after BF after BF and which one stays in one solid, committed relationship or stays single purposely.
The trouble is that at the moment
when your integrity is being challenged, it feels like if you don't stand up for yourself that people will believe the lies. It is SO MUCH more effective to show them, by your actions, that quite a lot of what you are being blamed for is exactly what they see "the ex" doing...and quite a lot of what you do is just keep quiet and do the right thing. That speaks VOLUMES!!!! And now, all this time later you can see what I mean and why I do it.
Sooooooooo...this weekend your ex is getting married. You know, and I know, and most of the folks who know her even as an acquaintance know that if marital vows really MEANT something to her, she would not be on her third marriage. Now I do realize that something people "have divorce happen to them" meaning that they behaved in a fully upright way and their spouse was a loser and cheated or something. I get that (nod), but that's not the case here. This is not a vow that she will dedicate herself to keeping or intends to keep--this is about the party. She wants the fancy dress...the jewelry..and the reception. Then, in a little while or after some amount of time, she'll be unfaithful, blame him, break his heart and have a party with some other person--or maybe skip the "vow" and just have the party!
Nonetheless I know for you it's a weird feeling. My own ex married last year, and it was weird because I just could not shake the thought of feeling sorry for his 3rd wife (huh--maybe it's a #3 thing...). Anyway, how can she feel any "security"? If marriage vows meant ANYTHING to him, he would have stuck with wife #1 or wife #2!! Now, that I know of he's addresses a few/some of his issues...and I hope for her sake one of them is his abusive side! In real life though, I feel sorry for her. She got a ring--big deal. Does the promise behind that ring mean anything? (shrug) Plus, I know he didn't really "want" to get married--she sort of pressured him into it.
Well what can I say? Nada. I wish them well and hope they have learned enough about themselves and marriage in general to be happier and healthier than we were. I'm grateful my kids are both with me so their world isn't destabilized. And that's about all you can do!
Why don't you come here and let us know how your day is tomorrow. We'll be thinking of you, ya know.